The A to Z of Prioritization – What, Why and How?

Before going to the A to Z of prioritization, let’s just look at a typical day’s work.

We definitely would have and still have the circumstances where, We

  • Feel stressed and overwhelmed
  • Feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day
  • Miss important deadlines
  • Our boss thinks we’re incompetent
  • Spend less time with your family

These are some really frustrating days or circumstances that happen to almost 9 out of 10 people and some people in the ratio of 3 out of 10 people face these situations daily.

Now, we might wonder why we are having such hard time dealing with these situations whereas we might see someone here and there deal with the same kind of situations in a different manner.

The heart of the matter is that even though in many cultures around the world we are taught from the childhood to do all the things in a systematic and planned manner, we somehow tend to forget or underutilize these important skills as we grow up.

Things like planning ahead slowly become “We can manage as we go” and then gradually becomes “Let’s do it next time”. As we grow older, we do things as it comes and rarely plan ahead except for maybe pension or own house or insurance in some cases.

 

This gradual negligence has become a habit and now we face these dire circumstances which are actually brought upon us by ourselves. We are to be blamed for where we are now and it is high time that we change it.

This is the main reason for me to write a full fledged article on a skill which will help us to come out of these difficult situations and bring out the best in us so that we can shine both in our personal as well as professional lives.

That important skill that I am speaking about is called “Prioritization”.

One of the most important skills that we should work on as we move up the ladder in our career as well as our personal life is Prioritization.

Now,

What is Prioritization?

Prioritization is the process of giving importance to certain tasks compared to others on the basis of variety of factors like importance of task, urgency of task, value of task and other factors that may vary from person to person.

We all for sure know that as we keep growing in our career, so thus the responsibilities and the amount of work that we have to do. This might be overwhelming sometimes as we are stuck up with a lot of tasks and very little time to do them.

At one point in time, we might even consider quitting our job and going off to someplace which is very peace and quiet.

Believe me. We cannot come out of these never ending energy draining tasks that might even lead to some mental issues like anxiety or depression or whatever psychological terms may call them as, unless and until we learn an essential skill which is Prioritization.

This brief brings us to the point

Why is Prioritization necessary?

Here are the 4 reasons why prioritization is a very important skill to move up the career ladder:

To reduce stress level:

As I mentioned earlier, we feel stressed whenever we doubt ourselves or our abilities.  We do that because we are not sure whether we will be able to achieve the goals you have set for ourselves.

This is where prioritization can be done and doing so will make us aware of the tasks that are to be done by us and also help us to delegate the rest of the tasks accordingly and thereby reducing our stress level.

To eliminate hopelessness:

This happens to all of us one time or another. This can only be reduced by proper planning. When we start to prioritize tasks, we will be astonished by the results.

It gives us a clear purpose to wake up and start to do things immediately rather than to sit and think what to do next?

To increase efficiency and effectiveness:

As we go ahead and start planning tasks and prioritizing them, we also gauge the effort and resources needed to complete those tasks. This will automatically increase our efficiency. And if we can do those tasks to the best of our ability with the right methodology, then the effectiveness of the work will also increase.

To improve the life of people around us:

You might wonder, Hey! Hang on a minute. How is this even linked to the topic, but it is very much linked to prioritization because it helps us to delegate tasks and give our colleagues and subordinates the responsibility for those tasks which will make them happy and the another thing is prioritization helps you to complete work efficiently and effectively which in turn gives us more time to spend with our family and friends.

Now that we know what prioritization is and why prioritization is done, the next question that comes will be

How to Prioritize?

I am going to tell you 5 simple steps to prioritize tasks. They are:

Step 1: Listing of Tasks

You heard me right. The very first step is to list all the tasks that you want to do in a particular time frame. Now, these tasks may be small or large and they need not be in a particular order too.

Making a list of tasks helps you to realize how much you need to accomplish.

Step 2: Categorize Tasks

The second step is to group the tasks into various categories. It may vary from less important to more important or from less urgent to urgent. Categorization helps us to get an overall picture of the task at hand. And it will help you grade them.

Step 3: Valuation of Tasks

The third step is to access the value of tasks in terms of its overall use to your business or work and also according to the overall effort that is required to do that particular task.

Another valuation term may be the impact that this task has on others who are around you. By the end of this step, we might be able to get a good idea on prioritization.

Step 4: Be Flexible and Adaptable

 By this time, we all know that nothing goes exactly as planned and also that priorities change according to circumstances.

So, it is very important that we be flexible to the changes that might come in our plan and adapt quickly to it so that we can finish the tasks without much fuss.

Step 5: Never hesitate to omit

Sometimes it happens that at first, we might have thought that a particular task is very important but in the end, it turns out to be a resource sinking task which won’t seem to end.

At that point of time, we should not hesitate to omit the task and move on to other things rather than to hang on to a task that barely bears fruit.

It is very important to find these kinds of tasks in the beginning itself so that the damage can be reduced to a greater extent.

Conclusion:

The whole point is to remind us all about the underutilized skill that could make our lives worth living.

Prioritization is a science. With a few small changes, we can make a large impact.

Nothing gives us an overnight success. So, constant improvisation and patience are very much required to find the right combination that might work for us.

                                                              Experiment – Learn – Apply – Succeed

 

Note:

Please feel free to review and discuss. Expecting your valuable insights.

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Adithyaa Kolluru

With diverse industry experience and creative bent of mind, Adithyaa brings in the best creative solutions to any problem. He has hired, recruited and trained hundreds of fresh graduates and executives and developed businesses for multiple companies. He is an Automobile Engineer and an MBA in Human Resources. He is also a writer and currently writing his first novel. His mission is to help people reach their highest potential. Other than working, he has a fascination for anime and he loves to draw sketches & cartoons. For any query or assistance, shoot him an email at ksadithyaa@gmail.com

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